The gospel of John chapter fourteen is filled with passages of Jesus comforting his disciples. The disciples want Jesus to stay with them forever. Jesus is explaining to them why he needs to leave.
Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” (John 14:1-3)
If Jesus stayed with his disciples, they would never have the gift of eternal life for themselves. Heaven should not be seen as a place where we escape the suffering inherent in the world to find eternal bliss. This thinking has glorified suicide in today’s younger generation. Instead, heaven should be thought of as a community of love. In order to get a dwelling place in heaven, you need to be a good lover just as Jesus was a good lover.
How did Jesus love? He was present to people. He was not self-absorbed or preoccupied. Jesus looked people in the eye. Jesus was not afraid to show people that he had feelings. People knew when Jesus cried, when he rejoiced, when he was angry, and when he was scared. Jesus was real and authentic! Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Too often people can forget about the humanity of Jesus. Jesus is not an object. Jesus is a person.
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to each one of his disciples. Jesus wanted each one of them to become Saints.
Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” (John 14:15-21)
Jesus did not come to earth to socialize and have a good time. Jesus did not come to earth to take care of everyone. Jesus came to earth with his eyes constantly focused on eternity. Jesus was consumed with doing his Father’s will. Jesus needed to leave so the disciples could grow to full spiritual maturity themselves.
The dwelling place that Jesus was preparing for the disciples was not a first class hotel room in heaven. The dwelling place that Jesus was preparing for his disciples was within each one of them. Jesus was preparing their hearts to be holy. Where will we dwell in heaven? We will dwell within our own heart. This is why so many Saints prayed to God, begging God, to take their heart and change it into His.